ON SUKKOT AND SIMCHAT TORAH
sukkotchildrensbooksThe holidays on the Jewish calendar that follow the High Holy Days are Sukkot, a harvest festival, then Simchat Torah, when the reading of the Torah is completed and begins again. A proud girl relates the busy goings-on around her house in preparation for two Jewish holidays that occur in the fall. readers watch a family get ready for the Sukkot by building a small shelter, a sukkah, where parents and children will eat, even sleep. In evocative prose, Fishman not only explains the holiday but also captures the joyous mood that infuses it, linking the day with the traditions of yesteryear. Most touching is the scene of the narrator imagining her biblical ancestors sitting beside her in the outdoor sukkah as she eats at the table in the cool night breeze. She also captures the celebratory feel of Simchat Torah, complete with the marching and singing that take place as the Torah is carried around the synagogue. The lively text is matched by Hall's stirring artwork, in shades of blue, green, gold, and orange, which is ethereal yet full of sweet, everyday detail. The lovely, muted pastel illustrations are an excellent accompaniment to the lyrical text. Those looking for a special book on these holidays will be inspired.